Giving new life to previous telephones


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As many as 1.3bn telephones will attain their “end-of-life” this 12 months as leases and contracts expire, however as a substitute of ending up unloved in a drawer, being bought on eBay or handed down to a different member of the family, previous smartphones are more and more being given an expert makeover from a brand new breed of round economic system firms.

A report revealed right this moment by analysis agency CCS Insight says greater than 300m previous smartphones have been traded final 12 months, with a rising community of organised resellers accounting for gross sales of 107m of them — rising 28 per cent in comparison with the earlier 12 months. CCS says the round economic system for used smartphones was value $13.3bn in 2021, however this might greater than triple to $44bn by 2026.

© CCS Insight

“The market is maturing rapidly and the industry structure remains fluid, with many companies emerging as serious players,” says Simon Bryant, vice-president of channel and provide chain analysis at CCS. He cites Back Market, Cashify, Genuine Solutions, PCS Wireless, Phobio, Recommerce, Renewd, Swappie and Umicore as key gamers.

Last week, I met Thibaud Hug de Larauze, CEO and co-founder of Back Market, the French firm that raised $510mn initially of the 12 months for a valuation of $5.7bn.

He defined how Back Market, which operates in 13 international locations, is an aggregator and market for refurbishers and resellers, such because the UK’s musicMagpie.

“Back Market exists to create trust in the transactions of non-new products,” he says, referring to the standard monitoring of suppliers the corporate carries out and the suggestions it makes to patrons.

Monday’s company-wide briefings on the seven-year-old service report not simply the earlier week’s revenues but additionally how a lot was saved by way of CO₂ emissions and uncooked supplies. “To build the latest iPhone, it took 270Kg of raw materials and 70,000 gallons of water,” he says.

Back Market began out with smartphones however has prolonged its product vary to laptops, tablets, consoles and different classes. “Our ambition is to be the global leader of the circular economy for tech products,” says Hug de Larauze. With the price of residing disaster and customers’ rising environmental consciousness, round is one economic system that’s nonetheless set to increase.

The Internet of (Five) Things

1. Crypto crunch continues
Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital has failed to fulfill calls for from lenders to stump up additional funds after its digital forex bets turned bitter, tipping the distinguished crypto hedge fund right into a disaster that comes as a credit score crunch grips the business. On Wednesday, the worth of bitcoin briefly dipped under its “realised price” of $20,000 from its November excessive of $68,000 — which means the typical purchaser has misplaced cash. It has been a tough lesson to study for a lot of, says the FT’s editorial board.

2. Bitcoin mining declines
Bitcoin miners are cutting down manufacturing as sinking cryptocurrency costs and rising power prices squeeze income and slam their shares. The bitcoin hash fee, a measure of the quantity of energy devoted to creating new cash, has fallen 4 per cent because the begin of the week, in accordance with information from

3. Tech jobs are exhausting hit by the downturn
Tech firms akin to Coinbase, Peloton, Stitch Fix, Redfin, Compass and Carvana have introduced vital redundancies, says Lex, as they attempt to reduce prices in a more durable surroundings. It’s the identical story in China, reviews our Beijing bureau, the place tech staff say it’s the worst job market they’ve ever encountered.

4. Where is the pandemic dividend for ecommerce?
For extra unhealthy information, Richard Waters has turned to ecommerce. Amazon’s share value has lastly fallen again to its pre-pandemic stage. Exchange traded funds that monitor the ecommerce sector have executed even worse. What occurred to the concept that the brand new on-line shopping for habits that individuals have been compelled to study within the pandemic would result in a everlasting change in client behaviour? he asks.

5. The limits of robo-mops and AI
Gillian Tett found the bounds of synthetic intelligence when her robo-mop “escaped” and have become entangled in a flower mattress. In the wake of the sentient Google chatbot controversy, John Thornhill asks whether or not it’s acceptable that personal companies have unique management over such highly effective technological instruments.

Tech instruments — Pod cocktails from Bev

Bev, a brand new automated bartender, quantities to a pod-operated Nespresso for cocktails, writes Jamie Waters. It is dangerously simple to make use of, with a Margarita, an Old Fashioned and a Whiskey Sour produced by him in minutes. Out first within the US this summer time, the $300 Bev is the work of Black+Decker, the {hardware} big higher identified for drills than Daiquiris. It’s plugging a niche available in the market for robotic mixologists. The market-leading Drinksworks Home Bar was yanked off cabinets late final 12 months and, apart from a smooth Bartesian providing, there may be scant competitors. It’s one in all 5 drinks devices reviewed by Jamie.

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